Some of you maybe aware of my love for New Zealand as that is where I discovered my passion for wine, so last Tuesdays tasting of New Zealand’s wines was a no brainer to attend!
Not only do I hold a love of NZ wines but it looks like the majority of the world are enjoying them too, with the number of wineries increasing from 516 in 2005 to 698 in 2011. Although this figure is high there were only 238 represented at the trade show.
There were four self pour tables which consisted of the riesling challenge, sparkling wine, chardonnays and the popular Bordeaux blend style that is emerging.
The riesling challenge held a lot of interest as 12 winemakers were given grapes from the same block and they had to put their own style on the wine however they saw fit, whether it was stainless steel or oak. Once the tasting was done you then had to vote on your favourite wine, I had two favourites but had to choose one! It suddenly feels like a political question and I’m not sure I should answer!
Continuing around the tasting there were the big names that you may of heard of such as Cloudy Bay, Oyster Bay and Villa Maria. There were also the flight of wines that had won awards throughout 2011 from the IWSC (International Wine and Spirit Competition) and the Sommelier Wine Awards. Two companies stood out for me, The Mud House Wines and The Antipodean Sommelier.
The Antipodean Sommelier is NZ owned company who are concentrating on importing boutique wines and their philosophy is to source outstanding wines, to showcase the superb examples of NZ wines.
David Clouston is one of the wine makers and he sources grapes to ensure quality and a sense of identity of where the grapes were grown. He has travelled and made wine all over the world and since returned to his home country to show what NZ has to offer.
Black Cottage is in the heart of the Wairau Valley, this is where David spends time with friends and family, this is also where the wine received its name.
As you can imagine Sauvignon Blanc is one of the wines he makes as well as a gorgeous Pinot Gris and two Pinot Noir wines, one of which is Central Otago and the other being Malborough.
I wanted to show the Pinot Noir from the Marlborough region because of its famous reputation for Sauvignon Blanc, I felt it would be good not to assume only Sauvignon Blanc comes from Marlborough.
It is 100% pinot noir, after fermentation in stainless steel it is then aged gently in oak barrels for 10 months.
This wine shows finesse of its new world origins. Summer red fruits jumping out the glass which continue on the palate with soft tannins and a sweet warm spice. This is a scrumptious wine to drink alone but equally will accompany meats such as game and roasted meats.